First Website Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success: First Website

Just like setting up a new kitchen, building your first website is an investment that will pay dividends in your business. Think of it as the foundation for your online presence—the first impression that customers will get of your business. This foundation can draw customers in, increase your visibility, and ultimately boost your profits.

To cook up a great website, you need the right team. Here are the key “chefs” you’ll need:

  • Graphic Designer: For that visual appeal.
  • Copywriter: To tell your story with the right words.
  • Web Designer: To bring it all together technically.

Defining Your Business Flavour

Identifying your business personality is like choosing the flavour profile for your signature dish. It helps with marketing and attracting the right clientele. I recommend following my New Business Recipe for Success, which covers essential ingredients like:

  • Business Name: The name on your sign.
  • Logo: Your brand’s visual identity.
  • Colours: The palette that represents your brand.
  • Values: The principles that guide your business.
  • Tagline: A catchy phrase that sums up your business.
  • Types of Images: Visuals that convey your brand’s story.

Choosing Your Domain and Hosting

Your domain is your address on the web, while hosting is the kitchen where all the cooking (site operations) happens. Make sure to choose a reliable hosting provider and consider options that offer SSL certificates for security.

Further reading: Hosting & Domain Recipe for Success

Selecting Your Ingredients: Types of Images

Deciding on the right images is like picking fresh ingredients for a dish:

  • Photographs or Illustrations?: Choose based on what best represents your business.
  • For service businesses, use images of happy clients or your team in action.
  • For illustrations, consider if stock images will do or if you need custom artwork.

Ensure you know the size and resolution needed for different uses like flyers, social media, and your website. My Images and Video Recipe for Success can guide you to the best sources for stock photos and videos.

Font Pairing: The Spice of Your Website

Just like spices, the right fonts can enhance your brand personality:

  • Serif Fonts: Traditional and reliable, like Times Roman.
  • Sans-Serif Fonts: Clean and modern.
  • Display Fonts: Bold and impactful for headlines.
  • Handwriting Fonts: Personal and creative.

Choose one or two fonts to keep your brand consistent. For more tips, check out Canva’s guide to font pairing and browse free fonts at Google Fonts.

This resource has a good description of what the various font styles say about you.

Social Media Presence: Reserving Your Spot

Even if you’re not ready to dive into social media, it’s wise to reserve your business name on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can set these accounts up and keep them dormant until you’re ready to use them.

Planning Your Website: The Main Course

With your foundation set, it’s time to plan your website. This will be helpful when you are seeking quotes from a web designer. Think about:

  • Maintenance: Do you want to maintain it yourself?
  • Platform Choice: is a strong, flexible choice that can grow with your business.
  • Avoid restrictive platforms like Wix or Weebly if you plan to scale up.

For further reading, see my Website Planning Recipe for Success.

Essential Tools

Sign up for Google Analytics to track your website traffic and gain insights into your audience.

Website Content: The Recipe List

Here’s a checklist of ingredients for your website content, applicable to all sites:

  • Company Name
  • Tagline
  • Description
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Unique Selling Points
  • Competitors
  • Inspirations
  • Mood Board
  • Sites You Like
  • Brand Colors
  • Target Market
  • Associated Words
  • Selling Products?
  • Blog?
  • Website Goals
  • Business Stage
  • Images
  • Content (Hire a copywriter)
  • Contact Information
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Email Capture Link
  • Testimonials

For e-commerce sites, add:

  • Product Descriptions
  • Categories
  • Images
  • Prices
  • SKUs
  • Stock Quantities
  • Shipping Rates
  • Zones
  • Tax Rates
  • Refund Policy
  • Payment Gateway (Stripe, PayPal, etc.)
  • Thank You and Confirmation Texts

With these ingredients and a clear recipe, you’ll be well on your way to cooking up a website that leaves your customers hungry for more.

Download a pdf copy for reference.

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